July 2021
From the Pastor

 

Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

With the Fourth of July upon us, (wait – wasn’t it just Easter?  But I digress . . . ) I have been reflecting on a multitude of recent memories.  A couple of weeks ago, I was in line at City Market pharmacy.  I witnessed a moment that will forever be a wonderful memory.  It was a moment of unexpected respect and awe where a little girl tugged on the camo jacket of a veteran, and she asked if he was a soldier.  He replied, “Yes, I was.” She immediately threw her arms around his waist to give him a hug!  For all of you who have served, are serving, or love one who has, you have a little girl’s great respect and you have mine!

Over the past few years, I have had the great privilege of spending time with a number of our military heroes.  There is one in particular though who invited me into his story about a recent trip to Washington, D.C. on one of our nation’s Honor Flights.  He also had stories to tell of his military service. I imagine all military members have their own stories to pass on. This little girl and this soldier, ordinary people with very different perspectives on life and the world, both understanding to varying degrees, the cost of freedom. What binds them together, more than “soldiering” though, is the life giving freedom found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our world is filled with ordinary people who live in Christian freedom. A freedom that calls us to love our neighbor and to serve one another; freedom that urges us on to be the heart and hands of Jesus in our world. Ordinary, everyday people who donate to the food bank, deliver Meals on Wheels or prepare those meals for our homeless outside the walls of ASLC.  Then there are those who serve within our walls, helping lead worship, whether as a reader, musician or assisting minister or those who provide hospitality preparing a cup of coffee or as an usher or greeter.  Jesus calls us all.  We come to be fed and then we leave and enter into the mission field.

It is this freedom that finds us mowing, changing the marquee or preparing food for a sick or grieving family,  decorating the fellowship hall or the sanctuary for Christmas and Easter or making sure that all is prepared as we come to Christ’s table.  It is also this freedom that has followers of Jesus serving as missionaries or on church councils and teaching Sunday School. It is also, how many ordinary people can so bravely serve in this country’s military services.

God’s grace and freedom from the bondage of sin through Jesus’ obedience and sacrifice on the cross can find ordinary people doing amazing and extraordinary things. God uses us to bring His kingdom into this world, offering us a glimpse of freedom as yet unimaginable. Saint Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”  With God on your side and Jesus as your Savior, what might you accomplish in your freedom?

I pray that you and those you love (including all those in your family who serve our nation) have a safe and blessed Independence Day.  May God bless you in all that you do, and may God continue to bless us all as we are so VERY blessed to be living in this amazing land called America.

Servants together,, Pr. Paul <><

p.s. Did you know??  It has been a while since I have brought this up, but . . .If you shop via amazon, you can sign up to have All Saints be the beneficiary of your on-line purchases.  Simply sign up at www.smile.amazon.com, search for All Saints Lutheran, Austin Colorado (there are about 15 or more All Saints – so it helps to put in Austin, CO in your search).  That’s it!  Just select us and Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchases.  As of June 10, my purchases have contributed $33.89 to All Saints.  It’s that easy!  Please consider for future purchases.

p.s.s. - Did you know that Luther said. . . . ???  “Although the Christian is thus free from all works, he ought in this liberty to empty himself, take upon himself the form of a servant, be made in the likeness of men, be found in human form, and to serve, help and in every way deal with his neighbor as he sees that God through Christ has dealt and still deals with him.”